“Sometimes I think this is just too good to be true!” Clarence Sparks, D.O., said.
“I started Midland College’s Primary Care Pathway Program in the fall of 2016, and
just seven years later, I’m finished with medical school.”
Sparks, who was in the first student cohort of Midland College’s Primary Care Pathways
Program (PCPP), graduated from TCOM on May 23 and will now be assuming a residency
in internal medicine-primary care at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma
“Clarence not only has a real aptitude for success in the medical field, but also
is altruistic,” Joseph Schenkman, Midland College associate professor of Biology and
PCPP program coordinator, said. “I can’t wait to see what great successes are in
store for him as he progresses through his residency and career as a physician.”
Sparks said that he really enjoys osteopathic medicine because of its wholistic approach
to medicine. As part of his education at TCOM, Sparks received special training in
the musculoskeletal system, which provided additional knowledge of how the body’s
systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others.
“Of course, osteopathic physicians are also trained in other aspects of medicine,
and are specialists in such things as surgery, cardiology, pediatrics, etc.,” Sparks
explained. “Osteopathic medicine focuses on the patient as a whole—not just treating
The Midland College PCPP program consists of an enhanced three-year premed curriculum
with two years at MC and one year at the University of North Texas (UNT), healthcare
enrichment activities that include mentoring and physician shadowing, a summer enrichment
experience and four years of medical school at TCOM in Ft. Worth.
Sparks said that he would advise students interested in becoming physicians to look
into the PCPP program at Midland College, especially if they are first-generation
college students, like he is.
“The professors and staff at MC helped me navigate the system and gave me direction,”
Sparks said. “Midland College really prepared me for medical school. The classes
are small, and the professors are personable. I was able to take advantage of scholarships
at Midland College, and there was also a stipend available when I transferred to UNT.
In addition, TCOM is very affordable, compared to other medical schools.”